Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Some serious stuff

Can feel dread tug of professionalism, as note that there are reports and articles on SL coming out and feel information pro's urge to blog same. Decide to get it over quickly by shoving them all in one posting.

1) First is report by Silversprite Helsinki aka John Kirriemuir, he who has sat in my roof garden and admired windchime. It was obviously worth the investment as I get mentioned in report. Ho ho only joking, Silversprite.

The report was commissioned by Eduserv and has attracted a good deal of attention:
Kirriemuir, J. (2007) A July 2007 "snapshot" of UK Higher and Further Education Developments in Second Life. Bath: Eduserv. Available as a pdf at http://www.eduserv.org.uk/

2) There was a discussion by UK educators (24th July) on problem-based learning. Wasn't able to attend, so thanks to Art Fossett who has put the transcript up online at http://artfossett.net/meetings/2007/07/24/uk-educators/transcript.txt

3) This and the remaining 2 items came out this last week.
Bainbridge, W.S. (2007) "The Scientific Research Potential of Virtual Worlds" Science, Vol. 317. no. 5837, pp. 472 - 476

Concluding paragraph "Many virtual worlds may foster scientific habits of mind better than traditional schools can, because they constantly require inhabitants to experiment with unfamiliar alternatives, rationally calculate probable outcomes, and develop complex theoretical structures to understand their environment (60–62). Probably for better, but conceivably for worse, virtual worlds are creating a very new context in which young people are socialized to group norms, learn intellectual skills, and express their individuality (63). The "graduates" of SL and WoW may include many future engineers, natural scientists, and social scientists ready to remake the real world in the image of the virtual worlds." No.s in brackets are reference numbers showing that this is pukka academic article and not idle talk ;-)

4) Kenney, B. (2007) "Second Life: What Is It? (And Why Should Manufacturers Care?)" Industry week, 27 July. http://www.industryweek.com/
(answer given: yes they should).

5) Finally, posting on Information world review blog, since wanted to include something from information field:

Griffin, D. (2007) "Is Second Life the right tool for Further and Higher Education?" IWR blog, 24 July. http://blog.iwr.co.uk/2007/

NB Normal service will resume in next posting where I will blog about hats.

1st photo is of me chilling in some pool in Cisco (I assume, as in "San Fran"), where I went by accident when I was actually looking for Cisco Systems. 2nd photo is of me scoffing Pringles in the Bloggers Cafe.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Show me the way to go home

Pringles consumed in SL: Countless (bad); Startled awakenings slumped over bar: 1 (bad); Units of alcohol consumed: 0 (good, but makes other items worse somehow)

After computer had crashed out of disco for umpteempth time take it as Sign, and head off. However, before retiring, also decide to revisit IH's home to create Landmark which had omitted to do in rush of excitement. Go home & change into fetching outfit seen on right. Once at IH's, have a look round countryside as have decided will put foot on rung of property ladder quite soon. See various bits of land, do some land searching and then want to tootle home again.

However, seems all travel in SL is out of question. Try teleporting to various shops and own office multiple times. Only get increasingly irritating tinging noise as left flapping arms and feeling idiot.

Somehow feel not right to leave avatar hanging over strange landscape. Therefore gird self for major long distance flight. Even with Large Map difficult to see where one is and in end give this up too as seem to be flying in circles and keep bumping against invisible walls of forbidden land plots.

Finally discover CAN teleport to San Jose State University campus, which seems safe sort of place. Stumble towards deserted bar, waste idle minutes pretending to be barman (i.e. click on BARMAN pose ball and watch hand make wiping movements and disappear into bar top, see pic.) then log out.

When log in next morning find am still alone in bar. Cannot resist Wearing box of Pringles that had picked up free in late night sortie to Blogger's Cafe. In RL have not been able to face Pringles since ate a lot of them one Christmas immediately before going down with violent gastric flu. Two things were unconnected, but unfortunately since then smell of Pringles is wedded to nasty feeling one has immediately before dashing to bathroom.

Try to Sit on bar stool but find have disappeared completely from view. When press Stand Up find am standing on top of grass umbrellas over bar. Very odd. Try Sitting on umbrellas and discover that instead am trapped UNDER umbrella, still stuffing Pringles in mouth, or at least thrusting them in general direction of face. Can just see self in last photo. Since am (as previously established) 6 foot 5 inches tall, umbrellas must be size of barn, or perhaps like Tardis bigger inside than out. Recover self and as Transportation now a viable option, go home to office.

Of course now realise that IH would probably not have minded me sleeping over in her house, thus avoiding sordid bar and Pringles incidents.

Social SL

Conference discos attended: 1 (good); New houses visited: 1 (v.good); Cash gifts receive: 1 (surprising)

Before attending Blogher 07 disco visited IH's brand new home in SL. Very cosy and CH and another friend were there already. Saw CH's wings and halo up close which are stunning.

Had spent some time in Divivity dithering over what housewarming gift to buy. In end brought cream cake there and also ikebana like one donated to CILIP. Drinks were circulated and was usual drinking-animation japes with coffee and beer apparently going all over new sofas or up wall.

Particularly cool was picture frame hung in IH's living room which cycled through some of IH's v.v. good RL photos. Also got quite excited when accidently sent camera outside walls and realised could see in through windows. Took photo looking in, but is possibly a touch voyueristic, suppose there is peeping Tom connotation. Thus have restricted self to publishing overhead view of living room.

On to Hyperstring Night Club for Blogher disco where at first thought was in wrong place as no people there. Huge disco floor with pulsating colour, several people mentioned possibility of epileptic fits during evening. When touched disco ball given choice of dance animation. Disadvantage of dancing in SL is that get no exercise whatsoever (not even moving keys) since animation does it all for you. Also cannot exercise creativity in dancing for same reason. However felt had made good choice of skirt as it swooshed around nicely.

Eventually others turned up and managed to make small contribution to conversation on clothes. Also dropped in on alternative venue for conference disco but either it was laggy or it had reached the Adult stage since everyone looked a bit naked apart from their boots. Anyway, decided to stick with Hyperstring. Computer crashed several times as combination of sound and graphics too much for it.

Was unexpectedly given $500 Linden by Gidge Uriza, to "have fun" with. V. kind. Was somewhat startled but a pleasant end to day and immediately after disco spent it on new red outfit. Last photo shows me arriving in the shop, still animated from the disco (you have to click World - Stop All Animations).

In terms of networking Blogher has been something of failure, except just to say that "I was there" can be conversation opener afterwards. Would definitely have been useful to be there on 1st day as this included one of those icebreaker sessions which in RL find somewhat excrutiating but esp. in SL might be useful. Also could have done more of the "Hi, I'm Sheila Yoshikawa from Europe I've blogged since 2003" kind of thing, but as in RL, not very good at plunging in and a lot of people seemed to know each other. As have remarked before, interesting that social awkwardnesses of RL carries over to some extent. Or perhaps it's just me.

Blogher conference: business & Sl

Conference sessions attended: 2 (good); Exhibitions browsed: 1 (good); Shopping trips between sessions: 2 (good); Things learnt & reflected on: some (good).

Because of RL commitments missed first day of Blogher 07 SL conference, which is shame since that seemed to include the sessions actually about blogging. Oh well. Have found write ups of "Blogging in RL and SL" session elsewhere, so fyi: Phasing Grace blogged some sessions, inc. that one (see http://phasinggrace.blogspot.com/2007/07/blogher-notes.html) and Vint Falken was a speaker at that session & also blogged about it & has also blogged more of the conference at http://www.vintfalken.com/

Wore same outfit as for CILIP opening, except removed cute lacey bow. Then edited Groups and activated Blogher 07 SL delegate group, yay. Thus prepared, teleported in and joined session on journalism in SL, which had just started. Seemed strangely quiet, then realised that had to turn on MUSIC as speakers were in fact speaking rather than typing. Found seat and in duller bits played with camera controls to look closer at the audience from different angles. Spotted some Famous Names of SL Blogging inc. Anya Ixchel (http://angelaathomas.com/) and able to goggle at her from few inches away in manner considered impolite in RL.

Have decided that will blog this session on the Information Literacy Weblog, since does have IL angle. Will put a link on this blog when have done that. [Added later - here is the link http://information-literacy.blogspot.com/2007/07/
] Otherwise will just mention that during session was IMed by CILIP Group member LL about whereabouts of CILIP office and dropped landmark in her inventory. Seems bit odd that CILIP Group itself hsn't distributed this yet, but able to feel Useful which is always nice.

Were a few pointed comments IMed when at end of journalism session it was remembered that this was supposed to be conf. about women blogging & panel was asked about barriers to women in SL. Male panel member also responded; perhaps not advisable (lol, as they say). However said male panellist becomes second "blog of note" here since he was 57 Miles, of Metaversed, and specifically of Metaversed's things to do.

After journalism session finished wandered round exhibition then yielded to urge for shopping. Bought new tops and jewellry and went back to office to change into new disco-ready outfit. Was also IMed by IH giving coordinates of her new house. Exciting!

The 2nd Blogher session was about business in SL, namely "Moderated by branding expert Nina Burokas our panel is filled with SL business mavens including Jeanette Gibson, Cisco System’s lead in new media communications and Linda Zimmer from MarCom:Interactive, Jody Devere aka Patty Streeter of AskPatty.com, and blogger and SL small business owner Daisy Beauchamp!"

Found it bit confusing that in both sessions moderator seemed to use RL names rather than SL names. Will have to remember this if ever get to moderate session. Also would have been useful if avatar had e.g. stood up when talking, so could see which one it was & provide bit of visial interest. Anyway, this session could be summed up by saying:

1) If useless at business and marketing in RL, then not going to be much good at it in SL either, are you? i.e. basic skills and nous much the same;

2) Some people are finding SL good for their products and brands, and some finding it still bit dodgy, depending on their product/ market/ applications;

3) CISCO evidently place to be as they have 600 employees in SL, virtual meetings etc. Presume goes for similar companies e.g. IBM said similar things at Eduserv conference that was only 2 RL months ago but now seems aons in past as have galloped down slippery slope to SL addiction since then. CISCO woman mentioned: 3-D product demos; SL meetings seeming more "personal" than conference calls; CISCO hiring engineers met in SL; customer participation.

4) Don't try to do everything yourself e.g. if you are a marketing person don't try to do the building too. Have pondered on this one, and although I can see sense in concentrating on what you are good at, and using others' expertise, it seems to me that the look and feel of SL is central to any marketing effort, so you'd need to work really closely with the builders to get it right.

5) "Company is family" can become scarily true in SL e.g. the CISCO exec. was called Jeanette Ciscosystems in SL. Am certainly NOT changing my name to Sheila SheffieldUniversity.

Some quotes (can't remember now who said what): "Associating my brand to SL has given a lift to my brand"; "This is where innovation is happening, it's happening in these spaces where people are collaborating."

Discovered new phrase "power-internet-user woman" (from AskPatty) and must find place to use this in RL e.g. when introducing self to students next semester. Also that there is growing "Avatar makeover" business to "dress for success" which sounds depressingly like fashion police to me.

Znetlady Isbell mentioned a couple of useful sites: her own SL Business Communicators wiki: http://slbusinesscommunicators.pbwiki.com/ (there is also the Business communicators in SL blog at http://freshtakes.typepad.com/sl_communicators/) and Kzero: Charts of businesses in SL: http://www.kzero.co.uk/blog/?p=702

Since this session have also reflected that cultural differences in marketing didn't come up, which is odd really. Perhaps all the speakers were American? In some ways even more challenging marketing in SL (although also more opportunities) since people completely mobile and currently v. few clues as to where they are from esp. as mostly relying on typing so don't even get vocal clues. Obviously language that using to type is clue, but poorly spelt English is used by lots of people.

Wish now I'd raised a question about this. In fact this makes me realise one of the advantages of SL conferences (i.e. when attention wanders can sneakily do other things until decide to tune back in) is also a DISadvantage, as it means you aren't FORCED to concentrate on what you are hearing. Perhaps if had been in RL conference, above thought might have germinated while was actually in the session.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

CILIP aftermath

Visits to SL: 0 (bad); Holidays in RL: 1 (v. good); Hours spent waiting at Madrid airport after plane cancelled on way home: 5 (bad)

Was away from SL for a week. In meantime see that as hoped, feature on Mark Taylor's blog article in CILIP website about SL opening. Yay. Interesting to see that, as in RL, am slightly disappointed by how look in photos (see 2nd photo, taken by Mark Taylor). Seem to be chubbier and less attractive than in photos taken of self. Perhaps this not surprising when consider that spend ages positioning camera for most flattering shot. Apparently I and IanSnowley Allen "exchanged ideas for possible professional uses for Second Life". Furthermore in a comment Lindsay asks "How can I read or hear the discussion Sheila had with Ian about possible professional uses for 2nd life?"

Can remember saying nothing coherent on professional uses of SL, although think wittered something about exploring nature of information literacy with students. Actually now I write it that sounds quite good, so perhaps if could edit transcript down to 3 lines and take out spelling mistakes would be OK.

CILIP President has also made comment on last blog entry, which is nice but bit alarming. Professional life coming possibly too close for comfort. Is evidently question will have to ponder at length e.g. in RL
1) do not admit to colleagues that spend hours looking at clothes &arranging flowers in office.
2) when writing about meetings am generally v. polite rather than saying that was so dull that gave up will to live and started manic doodling in effort to stave off rigour mortis. Not that ever attend dull meetings in RL, obviously; ahem.
3) do not write about students except in v. minimal way, as is otherwise abusing position of teacher.

Point 3) is one of ethics and as take v. seriously will not change for this blog. However others require more thought. Or as thought is v. hard, could just keep blogging & see what happens.

Photo shows me in Blogher 07 conference which is where I am at the moment. More on that soon....

Thursday, 19 July 2007

CILIP opening

Launches attended: 1 (good); Schmoozing done with CILIP president: 1 (good); Ikebana donated: 1 (good)

Target for today attending launch of CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) office in SL. Did not start promisingly. Had had RL press release that CILIP launching SL office today at noon, but no further response re location of said event.

Turn up at 11.55. Is one other CILIP Group Member online (MV) so IM "Hi - I thought that CILIP was launching its office today at 12 UK time - does anyone know where this is happening?"

Wait in own office for time with only sound of wind chimes and seagull. Realise cannot hear cat - is she OK? About to go and check when receive IM from MV with CILIP location.Turns out CILIP office is in Wales1, seems nice soothing place but no time to dally so fly straight into office. Have just missed Launch Speech from CILIP President, but is just him and MV (member of CILIP staff) in office so can have chat and take pics.

Try to identify unique feature of office. Decide is RSS feed of news stories from CILIP transmitted to your screen when you arrive & think can also get full text (though didn't have time to experiment). Seems useful although when arrived thought was unusually factual conversational opener from MV. Furniture is also tasteful.

When MV and President leave to drink tea in RL, go round in Goldilocks fashion sitting in different chairs. Discover that you can Build, so root around in inventory and find (as one does) elegant Ikebana flower arrangement that had not quite found its place in my office. Position it on glass table, admire, take pic and send IM to MV saying it is housewarming gift.

First pic shows me schmoozing, 2nd pic is after arrival with MV on my right and President on left. Third pic is arty shot of Ikabana, which as you can see was no rubbish & was from upmarket boutique in waterside location.

Location of CILIP Office is http://slurl.com/secondlife/wales1/10/130/24/?title=CILIP%20Office and of course is really good they have got one now (fawn, fawn).

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Invitation, freebies

Invitations received: 1 (good); Freebies gathered: 3 (good); Opportunities missed: 1 (bad)
Receive IM from UK Educators Group "You are invited to join other educators and friends for a gathering on MCLC 1 and 2 on Thursday evening" (19th): Gives detailed timetable e.g. at 12.45 would be "looking at re-imagining education in light of what we now know about learning and using the new emerging tools and technologies." Alas in RL will be on travels at that point so will not be able to join discussion in Pit or party afterwards as promisied.

Am obviously failing to get into information loop as notice that was discussion in Bloggers Cafe 2 nights ago that looked v. interesting but did not know. As information literate person (allegedly) is naturally v. distressing and must rectify.

Decide to sus out Blogher venue. Travel to Hyperstring Island and pick up exhibition freebies, namely bunch of flowers (see pic) and also 2 business suits for $10 each. Bunch of flowers does not go with outfit. Pity.

Hair, Conference

Conferences registered in SL: 1 (good); New hair bought: 5 (good and bad); Startling discoveries about eyeballs: 1 (bad)

Have been extending blogging contacts in SL. Have mentioned that contacted person at Bloggers Cafe to ask if could be pictured on cafe wall as blogger. Answer was yes, hurrah, so zip over there and take picture next to picture (top). Note that photo links to my other blog.

See that the 2007 BlogHer conference ("where the women bloggers are") comes up shortly in Chicago. Trip to Chicago out of question, but see is SL option so sign up. In due course receive IM with programme and info on where it is to be held (Hyperstring conference centre). Of course all in USA time, so evening events are in small hours.

Decide that such an event requires critical overhaul of appearance, viz, new hair. Is doubtless v. bad form to go round with original Harajuku Female hair as have been doing. However wish to stay with basic Short Blue approach.

Do search for shops using hair and Japanese hair and hair anime (that being style of hair have in mind). Buy 1st set of hair, which looks too fluffy. Shop around a bit more and in end buy several sets of hair, all on blue/purple spectrum.

In process discover that have been going round for past few weeks with DEMO written across eyeballs, ever since I tried demonstration eyes out in Miriels. Has been hidden by fringe, but becomes startlingly obvious when start removing hair. Replace hastily with standard Harajuku Eyes.

Finally settle with hair (see final pic), but am not 100% sure. Is quite pleasing, but possibly too cute. Of course could cut cuteness factor by removing flower from hair, but am rather entranced by coordinated effect.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Drinking on the roof

Visits from Friends: 1 (good); Glasses of champagne consumed: many (good); Box modified: 1 (v. good); Outfits bought in drunken haze: at least 3 (bad)

Receive visit from IH and am able to show off new roof garden, champagne and smoothie maker. Consume several of each, IH also produces BYO wine. Ask opinion about seagull. IH seems to think is OK and likes windchime. Windchime also got special mention from SH the other day, so is obviously Best Buy.

We compare notes re: knowledge of CILIP meetings in SL. Seems strange that 2 meetings have taken place without notifying CILIP Group esp. since (as IH points out) Group is not exactly in the mega-size category. IH is going to Islay (Scottish Island) in RL. Envious.

Can see us in 1st pic. evidently worse for wear as animation that goes with champagne flute is quite enthusiastic, although appears to aim champagne in vicinity of right eyebrow.

After IH departs should log off but instead yield to temptation to Shop. Discover delightful new place to buy kimono (good); fans (mediocre but cheap); Russian sable capelet (judgement reserved on that one); various collections of lacey bits to stick on arms, hair and spine (good value).

Whilst on travels discover Useful Box in ISTE area, which enables people to put in or take out notecards, landmarks etc. Also can be Modified, so take one and customise it in Office colours and stick it on wall (see middle picture).

Finally dress up in glam outfit (ruffles and fur necklet) and drink champagne whilst contemplating rainbow and blue horizon. Feel v. decadent, or perhaps just tired since is well past bedtime.

Sunday, 15 July 2007


Beverage makers purchased: 2 (good); Cake bought: 1 (good); Champagne bottles bought: 1 (good); Shelves put up: 1 (good)

In effort to make office friendly welcoming etc. etc. went in search of coffee and alcohol dispensers. When first came into SL could not really see point of food and drink but now realise is same as in RL to some extent i.e. it gives you something to talk about & do with your hands. Also giving of food and drink is welcoming ritual in many societies, I think ("discuss").

Anyway, suddenly felt that roof garden lacked certain something i.e. ready supply of drink. Did various searches on champagne and coffee and so forth. Firstly find small retro store with chillers of coca cola and budweiser but that seems rather American. Then find enormous caterers selling huge carts dispensing ice cream, vast barbecues, enormous picnic hampers and so forth. Spookily can walk through them so find myself in middle of hamburger grill which matches my hair (see last pic). All rather intimidating also would scarcely fit in office.

Finally happen upon wedding caterers ("Divivity"). Weddings must be big thing in SL. Anyway, this answers part of problem. Has various types of booze inc. champagne at only $99 Linden for bottle and (I hope) infinite glasses. For another 100 Linden get it in ice bucket but bucket is frankly bit vulgar for office, so just buy bottle.

Also lots of choc boxes for sale and consider those but in the end decide on Infinite Snickers Cake, also more reasonably priced. Complete spending spree by searching on coffee maker and find nice specialist shop selling various beverage makers, and buy coffee machine and smoothie blender.

Along the way have discovered that even with Mature switched Off, amazing what you find when searching on a word like Champagne.

Anyway, make little shelf and sign for coffee and cake in main office, then zip up to roof garden and install smoothie blender and champagne on a table which integrate into water feature. Thus all tastes catered for, hopefully, but if you want the alcohol you have to be sober enough initially to guide yourself up to the roof.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Creation, Stools, Fauna, Meetings

Friends met in SL: 2 x 1 (good); No. of artifacts created: lots (good); Linking skill learnt: 1 (good); Seagulls purchased: 2 (not sure); Hours spent (vainly) trying to import animated sit poses: 3 (bad)

Have been busy creating benches and stools in the office. Can now Rotate, Position, Stretch, Import Image, change Texture and change Colour.

Have also learnt how to Link and Unlink. In both cases involves pressing CTRL+3 then clicking on relevant objects, then selecting Link or Unlink from Tools menu.

Had much fun importing pictures of flowers and sky to make them Texture for stools . Also managed to make cone Hollow and positioned it to be a parasol. Bought windchime and changed Textures so that rather than fake bamboo now tones with rest of colour scheme.

Then (as happens) became heady with new skills and bought 2 seagulls and a rainbow. Have positioned rainbow over sign. Seagulls are perhaps step too far as now when sit in roof terrace hear quacking duck, windchime clinking and seagulls cawing in rather aggressive fashion.

When putting up benches in office spent ages trying to use pose balls to get animated sitting.
Mostly had no effect, but in other cases ended with strange postures which at first found puzzling and now realise are poses might not want to introduce into serious information literacy meeting (ahem). In the end left with default Sit which fortunately seems to come with Object.

Have had two meetings with Silversprite Helsinki who has been doing report on UK Higher Ed in SL for Eduserv. Will mention when this gets published as should be v. interesting. Top picture shows us chilling out on the roof. 2nd picture shows one of my many useless shopping trips in search of scripts for sitting poses that aren't rude. In third photo can see artfully placed rainbow.

I discover I am very tall

Measurements taken: 1 (good?)

Used a height measuring device. Discovered am 6 feet 5 inches. Or was it 6.5 feet? Can't remember now. Anway, was slight shock. Had noticed seemed to tower over others a bit but thought was just perspective. Think this height includes high heels but even so.

Apart from fact that at moment can't alter height (I think) due to inability to use Edit Appearance without crashing, perhaps will stay being tall statuesque person. In RL am over a foot shorter so will make a change to be vertically superior.
Photo shows me apparently trapped inside height machine though in fact was easy to get out.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Sheila Yoshikawa's shopping tips

People have been asking me about good places to shop (well, actually ONE person has asked, but any excuse). So here are three top tips for shopping delight.

1) Miriel's jewellry. When I visited last night there were 3 nice collections on free offer: in the pic I'm wearing a gold choker from one of them (Photo 1: as usual, click on the thumbnail to see a bigger photo). I've been very happy with the geisha hair ornaments and necklace I'd bought previously. Also I think the store is quite stylish. http://slurl.com/secondlife/

2) Vindi Vindaloo. There are some very good items on a table "free" (actually costing $1, but that's almost free) in the women's shop. In particular the Diamond trouser Suit is excellent (Photo 2) and the overskirt from the Diamond gown is the really flouncy black thing that has featured in several previous photos. I found the overskirt combined well with black underskirts from other outfits.

In fact I've found the 2 outfits I BOUGHT less satisfying e.g. the Douceur Rouge is very striking, but the red underskirt makes my bottom enormous, and the Overskirt skirt (seen in 3rd pic) droops down when I sit (whereas the Diamond Day skirt fluffs up prettily). There is less free stuff in the men's shop: shirt and ties and a white tuxedo. http://slurl.com/secondlife/

3) White Lily designs. I have found the collection of cashmere cardigans great value (I'm wearing the black one in the first photo and the red one in the third one) and they also have good collections of other basic items (e.g. the white everyday trousers in the third photo, worn under the red skirt so it looks less indecent when I sit down). There is als a free dress near the entrance to the shop. http://slurl.com/secondlife/

More friends

Friendships offered: 3 (good); Friendships accepted: 2 (good); New people shown office: 1 (good); IMs about B5: 1 (good)

Offer friendship to 2 people from Department and one person who used to work in Dept but is now all-round guru in matters gaming/educational/virtual. Petter Docherty (from Dept) flies in and I show off office.

Now seem to have routine i.e. pointing out noticeboards, photos, animated chairs & cat. Take pic of us both sitting in chairs in front of one of my posters. Looks like we are taking part in play about breakdown of communication in modern society.

Also experience first IMs about Babylon 5 ("five hundred thousand tons of spinning metal, all alone in the night") **N.B. non-fans tune out here as will not attempt to decode all B5 references**. Edited highlights (anonymised):
IM1: Hello people, I was wondering if anyone knows where I can get a B5 rangers uni?
IM2: The Designer For Mutant life is in the process of making some. but no ETA as of yet
IM3: Where? Ranger units in SL?
IM1: i ask every month or so, nothing yet

IM1: I guess I'm an elf for a while longer
IM3: It would be nice to see a Mimbari av.
IM1: too true, I'm not skilled enough to do it myself though
IM3: Same thing here. I once tried to make a Lyta outfit, but it didn't look good. A Minbari skull attachment would be hard to make, but not impossible. An idea would be to use a few prims and a texture. Well, maybe when I learn how to build. ;-) The only thing I built so far was a coffee mug.

Gosh, well, can empathise with that. Must say Lyta wouldn't be my first choice, although obviously has awesome powers. Delenn or Ivanova for me.
2nd photo shows a house that was for sale in rather attractive location, can't remember where now.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Butterfly curse removed, Bloggers' cafe

Butterflies stopped: 1 flock (v. good); New poster created: 1 (good); New outfits bought: 0 (good); Blogger cafes visited: 1 (good); Hours spent in SL when should have been doing RL work: 2 (bad)

Get IM from Thiery Fleury, maker of the Neverending Butterflies. Explains that can Remove them by pressing CTRL+ALT+T. Try it. It works! It works!

Would award Thiery Fleury customer service award if such existed in SL (surely only matter of time) as TF even IMs later to ask if all OK.

Spend some time wandering round new butterfly-free office, which now seems strangely minimalist. Decide that perhaps water feature on roof would benefit from butterflies, creating pleasing landmark. Also add new version of Centre for IL poster on roof.

Decide EVEN BETTER if butterflies came out of poster rather than water feature, as perhaps quacking duck provides enough interest in latter. Able to Remove and Place butterflies once more, but realise must be something you need to do AFTER you've pressed CTRL+ALT+T as many things continue to look strange and blocky afterwards.

Oh well. Fly off to new neighbouring island development inc. treehouse with chairs you can't sit on (odd). Find that can get pleasing view of own office from deck chair on opposite shore.

Also try swing, visit curious airborne swirling fountain and find Secret Garden (after children's novel by Burnett) (pretty). And all my doorstep!

Finally discover via ... actually can't remember now, such was random bittiness of day ... anyway, in some way discover Bloggers' cafe. Visit. It is empty perhaps just as well since not sure am up to sophisticated blogging chit-chat. Try sitting on chairs, flying above to check out flying flexi skirt effect etc. etc.

Have submitted pic to go on wall in bloggers' cafe via RL email (the pic at top of this entry, taken in the office, cool or what). Now waiting in some excitement to see whether will be posted on wall in cafe.

Speaking to RL friend just now who seemed to think that trying on SL frocks was not real. Not sure what he means by this.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Curse of giant butterflies continues

Butterflies halted in flight: 0 (bad); Visits of Friend to office: 1 (good)

Go inworld. Butterflies still flutter by. Find that MK is online. MK is friend from RL who have not yet met with in SL. Give her office coordinates by taking landmark from inventory and dragging it onto her profile. It works. She arrives and am able to show her round office.

Mention butterflies early on, can't exactly not. She agrees that distracting. She tries getting notecard from poster and that works too. MK has joined SL librarians group, and also has had tours. Chat about that.

Note that when cat barges into MK she staggers about in alarming fashion. Must be happening to me too and never noticed. What with cat and butterflies not v. calming environment.

Am still going to keep the cat. But those butterflies!!!

Office, panels, and the curse of the butterflies

Panels mounted: 8 (good); Noteboard skills learnt: 2 (v. good); Butterflies bought: 1 set (bad); Outfits bought: 2 (bad)

Have arranged to meet Art Fossett in Eduserv in order to find out why can't Build things there any more. Turns out that in order to Build need to have Eduserv Group Active (rather than, as currently the case, B5 Fan). Go to Group function and make Eduserv Group Active and lo, can once more Edit and Build. Feel v. foolish.

While AF is there ask how can fix panel (advertising Centre for information Literacy Research) to wall. He says to layer it. This in fact means Editing panel, then using Rotate and Position functions to get it parallel to wall and then flat against it. Feel v. proud when manage this.
Have already Created Notecard (in Inventory) with text about Centre and dropped it into Content bit of panel (in Edit mode) (I hope you are following this).
Google notecard object make. Find useful page (http://www.exo.net/~pauld/secondlife/build_pi_glass.htm) in which one Paul Docherty explains how to Build object and make it deliver up notecard when someone touches it. Am able to amend "give notecard" script appropriately, and lo (again) my panel delivers a notecard when anyone right clicks and selects "Touch". Feel even prouder, so spend some time touching panel and getting notecards.
Place cat who I name Mitsy (after cat belonging to favourite aunt). Put out mat for cat.

Get panel/notecard fever and create a) panel with map of information literacy research to put on opposite wall; b) stretched and repositioned copy of same as carpet; c) 3 panels with different photographs on as decoration in smaller of 2 office rooms; d) explanatory small panel saying what's in photos; e) plain panels in tasteful blue to cover up purple wall.

And now comes fatal error. Suffering from interior design euphoria shop for tropical plant to place near artful photo panel. Am instead betwitched by two blue butterflies ("1 prim") fluttering decoratively. For $199 Linden they are mine. Whisk back to Eduserv Island Office. Place.

A million zillion giant butterflies immediately zoom out of wall. For 30 seconds they look v. pretty. Then I think "enough already". BUT I CANNOT STOP THEM.
Click desperately all over area with butterflies to no avail. Seek out all butterfly-related objects in inventory and delete. And still they come. Log out and log back in. Butterflies greet me cheerfully as I arrive. In end IM vendor and ask how to stop them. Argh.
Last photo shows me perched on wall, looking down on butterflies in doomed fascination.

Thursday, 5 July 2007


Dresses bought: 6 or it might be 7, or 8 or ... (v.bad, although 3 of them were free); Shoes bought: 2 pairs (3 if you count the slippers: bad); Bracelets bought: 2 (bad); Fans bought: 1 (bad); Necklaces bought: 1 (I suppose that's not SO bad); Pairs of earrings bought: 2 (bad); Computer crashes: 2 (bad); Hours spent trying on new outfits: 3 (v.v.bad); Hours spent managing inventory: 1 (good)

Have developed dreadful shopping habit. Spent hours flitting between emporia, flying up and down in front of placards deciding whether frocks would look as good on me as on model.
Fear have left Boxes (in which clothes come packed) strewn across landscape in mad drive to Open and try on booty. Have to remember to Take boxes after contents have zoomed into inventory but easily distracted by sight of new bodices, underskirts, waving ribbons, veils etc waiting to be Worn.

Wonder whether there is already sanctuary for shopaholics in SL where Residents can be discouraged from Retail Therapy. All above in fact only cost circa £6, but still that is £6 for which have nothing to show except a few photos uploaded to flickr.
On whole shopping hassle free experience. Only incident was someone trying to sell me hair. Have decided that will keep hair as identifying feature. In RL have had long hair since age 12 and intend to keep it thus, so short blue hair is novelty. Have also realised that arms have tattoos on, a fact hitherto concealed by prediliction for kimono with long sleeves. As tattoos also something not aspired to in RL will keep for present.

Photos display some of new purchases which am attempting to mix and match although this takes some care as clothes not bought together tend to interact in very odd ways.

Shoes biggest disappointment since with current graphics card simply make feet look deformed and crumbling. However still prefer long skirts so worst is concealed. Best buy is Diamond Dress which cost only $1 Linden on discard pile in fancy store, since flouncy black skirt from this can be combined with top from another outfit and a feathery thing from one of my possible mistakes (a red number) to give v. classy effect. (see 2nd pic sitting in office).

Some pleated skirts also nice (3rd pic, the traditional Flying Shot), but disconcertingly disappear into chair when sit down. This effect is shown in first pic (meditating on some mountain or other) where looks OK I think.

With new stuff raining into Inventory decided must do some Personal Information Management and discovered that key to this is Create New Window which gives you copy of Inventory and enables movement of items between folders (not possible, as far as can see, when only 1 copy of inventory open).
Create various subfolders, mostly for types of clothing (surprise) and all looks much neater now, plus have deleted various objects the function of which remained obscure but had held on to them just in case.

As well as considering and rejecting new Hair, also tried some new Eyes (see final pic) but frankly not worth it, especially as eyes are almost totally obscured by fringe.

The blog of Sheila Yoshikawa on her adventures in Second Life. This may be very thrilling. Or possibly not.